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Category Archives: Sunday Cinema

A Little Help from Elsa

Hello, and welcome to another Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  I am tired and discouraged, but there is no point in going on about it.  For one reason, somebody is sure to point out that other people have way worse problems than mine and I should just be grateful that… something or other.  I hate it when people tell me to “just be grateful that –”  I’ll be grateful when I’m good and ready!  Right now I’m complaining!

Only right now I am trying not to complain but to make a half-way decent blog post (cue jokes about the usual quality of my blog posts).  I was going to do my usual Sunday Cinema;  we started the movie watching portion of our day shortly after noon.  However, I cooked an actual Sunday dinner and we put the television on Snapped while we ate.  It’s still on, but the current episode is one I’ve seen more than once.  Maybe I can mention the movie we did watch and list a few others we might watch next.  After I hit Publish.

Doesn’t it look mysterious and spooky?

We wanted something scary but one we had not seen recently, so I suggested The Spiral Staircase (1946), which we have on VHS (just to show how old school we can be).  I was hoping to find a picture with Elsa Lanchester, but her part isn’t all that big.  Still, we love Elsa Lanchester, so I suggested we have an Elsa Lanchester film festival.  We could continue the spooky theme with Bride of Frankenstein (1935).

I should have had such a ‘do on my wedding day.

After that, we could watch Witness for the Prosecution (1957).  Elsa Lanchester’s role in this film is neither in the short story nor the stage play, but she is the best character in the flick.

This is also Bride of Frankenstein. Isn’t she pretty?

That is the picture I was looking for when I mentioned Bride.  I got tired of scrolling and looking through my Media Library so used the other one.  Then I found it when I was looking for the next picture. Just a little insight into my blogging methodology.

Spoiler alert: He doesn’t murder her.

Next we might go color with Murder By Death (1976).  That is a star-studded romp, and the first video I ever gave Steve, back when we were dating.  We have it on DVD now.

How many can you name?

Well, we won’t have any time to watch any movies if I don’t finish this post and hit Publish.  At least I’ve typed myself into a better mood. Happy Sunday, folks!

 

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Birdcage to Bedlam on Cinema Sunday

I tear my eyes away from the television screen to make a Sunday Cinema post.  It is my dear husband Steven’s birthday, and we have spent the day enjoying each other and a few movies.  However, blog posts must be made (that is, my blog posts, by me, and daily; others may follow their own rules of course).  We started with Bird Cage (1996), at Steven’s request.  I love that movie, too, although any Robin Williams movie will be forever bittersweet since his untimely death by suicide.  I apologize for the serious note in a blog that bills itself at “totally fun,” although I confess I am not really sorry.

I think this is a merry moment off camera.

I looked for a good picture of Williams with Nathan Lane in drag, but the best I could find was one of them laughing together.  I like that, though.  Laughing together is one of the joys of life.  After Bird Cage, I suggested another favorite of ours, Being Julia (2004) with the divine Annette Bening.  It is based on one of my favorite novels, Theatre by Somerset Maugham.  It is really an excellent adaptation.  I can see where each change is necessitated by the difference in medium from page to screen. Alas, I think my copy of Theatre was lost in the flood of 2013 (my stupid fault for leaving books in the basement, which I KNEW I should not have done) (but I digress).

She is marvelous, yes, and I would LOVE a cape like that!

Next I suggested Bedlam (1946) with Boris Karloff.  While looking for the DVD (it is not with our main collection for some inexplicable reason) (I think Steven is responsible) (but I digress), I came across The Bowery at Midnight (1942)  with Bela Lugosi. Lugosi or Karloff, I thought, let’s go with an old time monster movie guy.

Quite frankly, the poster is more exciting than the movie.

Bowery was not the thrill we were hoping for.  It had its moments, but it moved kind of slowly.  We were happy that I found Bedlam to put in next.

Even without the Frankenstein monster make-up, he is a creepy guy.

I wrote about that movie in a post some time ago.  Steven did not remember watching it, but when we watched it again, he remarked that it is a very good movie.  It has a good plot, with a good lesson.  I do like a story that teaches a lesson.

I might like to write a blog post one day that teaches a lesson.  Do I know enough or even act well enough myself to presume to teach anybody a lesson?  That sounds like a subject suitable for some half-baked philosophy on Lame Post Friday.  Why, that’s days away!  I’d better not think about that, or this will become Wrist to Forehead Sunday instead of Cinema Sunday.  I’d better get back to my movies. Happy Sunday, folks.

 

Documentaries and Murder, What’s Not to Like?

It’s either Wrist to Forehead Sunday or Sunday Cinema, and I choose the latter.

We started out with A North Woods Elegy: Incident at Big Moose Lake, a documentary about the murder of Grace Brown by Chester Gilette in 1906.  Steven got it for me at the Herkimer County Historical Society a couple of years ago.  I love local history.

The fellow that wrote this was one of the commentators.

I could not find a photo from the actual DVD, so I include one of some of the source material. I have this plus a couple other books about the case.  I am hoping to acquire Chester Gilette’s diary sometime.  I checked it out of Basloe Library in Hekimer once and read it, but I think it would be a good addition to my collection.

After Elegy, I was in the mood for another documentary, so I suggested the only other one we have on DVD, Curse of the Blair Witch (1999), which is one of the extra features on the Blair Witch Project DVD.  We did not go on to watch The Blair Witch Project, as we usually do, because Steven was not in the Halloween mood (as I almost always am).

I’m going to start saving sticks that fall off the trees in my yard and tie them together in figures for Halloween decorations.

Yes, every time I watch The Blair Witch Project, I say, “Why don’t they just follow the stream?”  I still find it entertaining, and I admire the alternate narrative technique.

We continued the documentary theme of the day with a couple episodes of Snapped, which Steven fixed us some yummy BLTs on Heidelberg Bread, made right here in Herkimer, NY.  I do loves me some Snapped on a Sunday.

 

 

It wouldn’t be Sunday without at least one episode.

Steven was more in the mood for a movie, so I suggested Laura (1944), one of my perennial favorites.  It is a break from documentaries, but I felt in the mood to see it again.  Vincent Price as a suave leading man type, Judith Anderson as one of my favorite characters, a stylish noir.  I’m enjoying it.

One of my favorite couples.

And now I have missed a portion of the movie while making this blog post.  No matter.  It is one we pop in often, and blog posts must be made.  Happy Sunday, everyone.

 

Haunted by Eve, I Snapped on Wrist to Forehead Sunday

Ah, Sunday, what a day.  I have traditionally said there is no point in trying to get anything done on a Sunday, hence, my Wrist to Forehead Sunday and Sunday Cinema features.  Today is no different.  In fact, I am trying to make my post after only two movies.  Wait a minute, I think I did that last week. I am not motivated to go back and check.  Did I mention that Sunday is a low motivation day for me?  I think I did.

They are on the look-out for ghostly phenomena!

We started out our movie viewing with The Haunting (1963).  I had been thinking of it because somebody mentioned it on one of my horror movie pages on Facebook.  I have always held it up as an example of how scary a movie can be with just sound effects and acting.  On this viewing I noticed how dated it was in one respect:  the head ghost-hunting guy had to be sensitive to how people might look askance at his activities.  His wife begs him to come home and stop making a fool of himself.  These days he would have his own reality show!  Then again, some people consider these reality shows a little foolish.  The subject is too deep for me to get into now!

The couple of the moment.

After The Haunting, we went to All About Eve (1950), one of my all-time favorites.  It is arguably the role Bette Davis was born to play.  Would anybody like to argue the point?  Please comment below.

Now I am looking at Snapped, because I cannot think of another movie to go to.  What’s that all about?  I suppose it doesn’t matter.  I am over 250 words, respectable enough for a blog post.  In the coming week, perhaps I will work on becoming more that merely respectable. Will I succeed?  A little uncertainty lends interest to my week.  Happy Sunday, everyone.

Every Sunday and any other day I can find it!

 

Wrist to Forehead Cinema?

Full disclosure:  I had some Mohawk Valley adventures on Saturday that I could have written about.  But I wanted to to a Sunday Cinema post so we started watching movies.  Unfortunately, we are only on the second movie of the day and I want to make my post before it gets any later (when one gets up for work at 3 a.m., it gets late early).

Tippi, watch out!

We started out with Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, one of our favorites.  I won’t say it is a cinematographic masterpiece, but it is highly entertaining with excellent effects, especially for the time.  I’ve named a character Annie in my next murder mystery, after Annie Hayworth, the school teacher, because she is such a door mat.

That awkward moment…

We debated quite a bit during The Birds as to what we would watch next. I always like to have a connection between movies.  I thought of going from The Birds to Birdcage, but I wanted something darker. I thought of The Postman Always Rings Twice, which kind of has a connection because it features Hume Cronyn, who was married to Jessica Tandy, who is in The Birds.  Come to think of it, on that basis, we could have gone to Rope, which in addition to being written by Cronyn, is another Hitchcock movie.  But we have seen Postman and Rope recently.  Moreover, I like to drink champagne when I watch Rope, and I was drinking Barefoot Pinot Noir.  At last we settled on Sudden Fear.  It does not connect with The Birds, but it is film noir, which goes nicely with pinot noir.  Joan Crawford, there could be no possible objection.

As we watched Sudden Fear, we realized our television was getting quieter and quieter.  Sometimes it does that and we do not know why.  It goes back to a normal volume when we look at regular TV, so now we are looking at Snapped, my usual Sunday treat.  If you are wondering about my headline, well, it is Wrist to Forehead Sunday for a number of reasons.  As you have seen, I had some heartburnings selecting our second feature.  Additionally, I am somewhat mortified in trying to have a Sunday Cinema post on only two features.  Well, you’ll have these things when you read a silly blog like mine.  I hope to write about my Mohawk Valley adventures in coming days.  As always, I hope you’ll stay tuned.

I do loves me some Snapped.

 

A Cinematic Pause in Christmas Preparations

I had hoped to do a Sunday Running Commentary, even went for a run this morning, but then I spent some time with Christmas mixing and fixing, then some time having a couple of drinks and relaxing, watching Christmas movies, so now I’m here ready to do a Sunday Cinema as usual (was that a run-on sentence?  I don’t care if it is and I am too lazy to check in any case).  At least we watched some seasonal movies, so there’s that.

Isn’t it romantic?

My main thing was, I did not feel like crying, so no It’s a Wonderful Life, no Homecoming, and not just any Christmas Carol.  When Steven suggested Christmas in Connecticut, I thought that sounded perfect.  Just a sweet love story involving people pretending to be something they’re not (that’s not giving away any important plot points, it’s part of the set-up).

After that I suggested the fun version of A Christmas Carol with Reginald Owen as Ebenezer Scrooge.

Jacob Marley reminded me a little bit of the butler in And Then There Were None, but Steven told it was Leo G. Carroll, who used to be in The Man From Uncle.

After that one, I was wishing we had a Christmas murder mystery, when I remembered, just before Steven suggested, Hercule Poiroit’s Christmas, an episode of the Poirot television series starting David Suchet.  I had read the book this was based on many times before seeing the movie.  I have a number of problems with the adaptation, but it’s a fun watch, and, David Suchet, there could be no possible objection.

Yet another excellent Poirot.

Poirot is an fun character for an actor to portray (or so I would think, having never had the opportunity to play him), and Suchet does an excellent job.  I have also enjoyed Albert Finney’s and Peter Ustinov’s interpretation of the part.  I need to check out Kenneth Branaugh’s Poirot, but that’s a whole other blog post.

In the meantime, it’s Christmas Eve Eve.  I need to get back to my tv-watching, crocheting portion of the evening.  For one thing, I need to recruit my energies for tomorrow.  Happy Sunday, everyone.

 

On to the Christmas Videos!

I don’t know how good of a Sunday Cinema post this will be, since we only saw one actual movie.  Still, I think I can share a couple of pictures and say a few things that may entertain someone, even if it’s only me.

We started by looking at TCM, where this guy was talking on and on, and I did not pay much attention.  Eventually they got to the movie, which was Crack-Up (1946).  I said, “Don’t we have this?”  Steven thought not.

“I think I’ve seen it.  I must have DVR’d it.”  I used to DVR a lot more movies from TCM, and write blog posts about them.  I must begin doing that again.  However, I cannot do that with Crack-Up, because it turns out I already did, in 2013, in a post called, “Good Job, Leonard!

This is Claire Trevor, who plays the love interest, although she gets to do a few brave, useful things.

The other reason I cannot write much about Crack-Up is that I did not pay too much attention to it.  I know, I often do not pay a great deal of attention to these things, but I was quite delinquent in that respect today.  After the movie, I found Forensic Files, although I was really more in the mood for Snapped.  Steven wanted something more joyful, so he bestirred himself to go up to the attic and bring down some of our Christmas movies.  Soon we were delighting in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Boris Karloff is the only Grinch for me. All others need not apply.

Next Steven chose Christmas Unwrapped, a VHS tape of a special that aired on the History Channel many years ago (at least, I don’t know how many, but it’s a VHS tape, so it must be quite a few, anyways).

Santa by artist Thomas Nast in Harper’s Weekly.

I tried to take a picture of the video cover with my Tablet, but it did not turn out well.  However, this is the Santa Claus that graces said cover.  I do love an old fashioned St. Nick.

After Christmas Unwrapped, I got to watch part of  Snapped episode.  Then I didn’t like the episode that was on next, so I put it on COPS while I made my blog post and Steven did the dishes.  Now Steven is deciding what to watch next while I am over 400 words.  Woohoo, that’s long for a Sunday post!  I wonder if he would like to watch that holiday classic, Die Hard.

PS.  He went another way and chose The Homecoming.